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OK, so continuing down my project of building an A/V Server to house all my music (mp3), photos (jpg), misc video (avi/mpeg/DIVX), eventually DVD's (format TBD), and want to get the quad cable card tuner when it hits the market shortly.

The desire to use the quad tuner card has me limited to using WMC with an extender, so I got a remanufactured 360 to play around with using my current win7 box before investing in ther server.

I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the audio / video playback quality on the 360. I had been reading online and while there are some complaints about the limited playback formats I hadn't seen complaints about quality and a few positive comments. Still I can't say I'm surprised to find out a video game system doesnt have the best playback, but just disappointed.

I currently stream MP3 / JPG through a 4-5 yr old GoVideo player. It was one of the first on the market, has VERY limited playback formats, and the video has to be of such poor quality its really not practical. However, even the GoVideo seems to have slightly better audio quality than the 360 does.

It's not that the 360 is really aweful. I was just hopeing it woudl at least be better than the GoVideo product.

So i'm not sure where this leaves my project now. Does anyone know if any of the other WMC extenders (short list) produce a better quality output?

If not what semi affordable media player/streamer does provide upper end quality HD video / audio? I will stay away from saying high end because i'm not looking at 4 digit price range equipment right now.

I was thinking of going back to running XBMC on a small HTPC designed to stream the content stored elsewhere. Shouldnt even the audio and video processing on a decent MB have better output than the 360? Then I guess the question is, if I run XBMC live (which runs off linyx) will it even recognize the A/V cards on those boards?

If I have to get away from the WMC system, I'm not sure what I want to do. Part of this project was to have a multi tuner HD DVR that could be streamed to multiple rooms. The HD limits me to a cable card tuner and that limits me to WMC to record... As best I can tell, the content recorded by WMC from the cable company will largly be DMR encoded and probaly not be able to be played on anythign that isn't a WMC extender.

The rest of my home theater is an ADCOM GFA 7500 (5x150), Denon receiver being used as a processor, OPPO Blue-Ray Player, and 15 yr old DEFTECH speakers (back when they used silk dome tweets, not a fan of the aluminum tweets they use today, very bright). Its a decent mid range system and the A/V quality is certainly sufficient. Anything coming from the OPPO is pretty phenominal. Listing this just as a point of reference.

Any advice is appreciated
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